MORGANTOWN, W.Va.— As University of Houston transfer Charles Sims continues mulling where to spend his senior season, West Virginia and Cal have emerged as the leaders to land the 2,300-yard career rusher.

Meanwhile, the details surrounding Sims’ departure at Houston remain cloudy, particularly after his January decision to pass up on the NFL draft and return to school.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston tailback Charles Sims is transferring for his senior season and has WVU and Cal atop his current list of destinations.

“It was a total surprise,” said Joseph Duarte, college football writer for the Houston Chronicle, upon joining “SportsLine” on Monday night. “Here was a kid who was going to be the face of the program next season.”

Less than four months after Sims reassured Houston coach Tony Levine he would round out his stellar career with the Cougars, the running back reversed field two weeks ago and announced he was leaving UH. At that point, Sims said he was unsure whether he would transfer to another school with immediate eligibility or enter the NFL supplemental draft.

Duarte said the supplemental draft appears to be an unlikely option for Sims, considering he passed up the conventional draft.

Sims reportedly expressed an interest in transferring to Texas Tech only to have Houston block that move. The school’s release prohibited him from transferring to any school in Texas, or any member of the reconfigured American Athletic Conference, or any opponent on the Cougars’ 2013 schedule.

Sims has 158 career receptions, making him the NCAA’s active leader among running backs and a good fit for WVU, even though the Mountaineers appear sufficiently stocked in the backfield with junior college recruit Dreamius Smith and freshman signee Wendell Smallwood joining returnees Andrew Buie and Dustin Garrison.

“He’s looking for a program where he can showcase himself,” Duarte said, “and West Virginia’s offense is tailor-made for him.”

The 6-foot, 205-pound Sims averaged 6.2 yards per carry over his three seasons in Houston. He ran for 29 touchdowns and caught eight more.

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  • 9lives304

    I say BRING HIM ON!! It damn sure won't hurt our backfield. Trickett's gonna end up being our QB and I say start Sims in the backfield. Dana created their O's prolly the same playbook....

  • AJ

    Charles Sims would help the RB position the same way Clint Trickett will make his mark at QB.

  • rudy mcgraw

    WVU Does need a strong back That is one of the things we was lacking last year on short yardage . If he wants to shine and have the greatest fans in the world he will come to West Virginia

  • tw eagle

    sims transferring doesn't pass the smell test . . .IF , he had 'all the tools' some pro team would urge him to join the supplemental draft . . .if he's a 'superstar' , why look elsewhere . . .has he graduated? or has he gotten jammed up , socially , academically , or legally ? nah , I vote to let cal have him . . .

    • Rob

      TW eagle. No he has not gotten jammed up, as he has already graduated. He is a hard working young man and is very humble and respectful. He wanted to play against better competition. I know because he is my family. People read or hear stories and always think the worse. He did not want to play for UH anymore and he has very good reasons why.

    • eliotz

      He has already graduated and in case you missed the NFL draft, there is no market for RB's this year. Several in the top 20 were never picked up and had to walk on. Why he left has been hushed so it is obviously not an NCAA, or legal issue and since he's graduated its not academic. Odds are its a personality issue with someone at the school, coach or player. Or he feels like he can up his numbers and profile for the NFL at a bigger school, better conference... and he would be right.

  • clair

    We certainly can use him, don't know about Smith but the two last year just don't cut it.

  • cutty77

    i noticed this story in tonights Daily Mail. WVU Football season Tickets are up 8% almost 6000 Thousand more than last year.Its Odd i don't see that story on this web site.Maybe i'm just a little quick. LOL

    • tw eagle

      this doesn't bode well for the greer industry line . . .they prefer 'gloom&doom' at WVU so that pushing Luck out will be easier . . .

    • Mister

      6000 Thousand? Maybe I'm just a little quick?

  • richard

    yes i am saying that. do you not think C-USA schools can't beat big 12 schools? if you think that then you don;t know sports! see it every year. the number one pick in this years NFL draft came from the MAC. i didnt say the whole team was better....just this guy is a better back then what we have now.

  • TomN44

    He must be OK academically if he can get in Cal. Either way, he'll have to sit out a year.

    • Bob

      He doesn't have to sit out a year.

  • DonaldH

    So you are saying the C-USA schools were able to attract better players then WVU?

    • Art in Ohio

      Just look at the pros that come out of the MAC QB with the Steelers and more. It happens all the time.

    • Allen

      Sims got his yardage against weaker competition. Now wants to see if he really is good as he thinks.

  • richard

    " even though the mountaineers appear sufficiently stocked in the backfield "? ......he is still better than what we have now. they are good but HE is really good.

  • scotthighgrad

    he wanted to play for texas tech and stay close to home. what better way to come to wvu and play in his part of the world!!!

  • big tom

    wvu is your team and morgantown is waiting on your arrival

  • Shawn

    If he does pick WVU then we could have the best backfield in the Big 12 and possibly in D1.

    • Bob

      Say what? We don't even have a starting QB at this point in time?

  • Big Larry


    If he comes to WVU, it only takes 3 days to learn the offense.

    • hailey

      little larry you are correct, the coaches on the offensive side of the ball do an outstanding of teaching and coaching.. typically players can pick it up very quickly,

    • Hossnfeffer

      It only take 3 days to learn how to play golf too. Mastery is a different story.

    • Wemakerain

      I know you think you're being clever, but just who praytell set up that offense in Houston? Oh that's right Dana did, so you're accurate as he should already know his own offense.

    • Habib Haddad

      And only one day to learn to hate Pitt, ignore Marshall and learn the words to Country Roads.

      • Jimi Johnston

        My man you got it down

  • Helen

    I would think he would want to make up his mind so he can learn the play book at which ever school he chooses. If he comes in at the last moment he may not get to play.